Is the Raw Food Diet the New Gwyneth Paltrow?

It’s been a rough week for the wellness world. First, Gwyneth Paltrow announces her intention to go vegan, then we learn that South Korean officials are investigating the country’s largest food-safety scandal. Amidst all this controversy, it’s easy to forget about the influencer’s impeccable diet habits. But as so often happens in the world of food and fitness, an incident serves as a reminder of how people should—and shouldn’t—be eating.

Paltrow’s announcement sent shockwaves through the community of wellness-curious individuals. The phrase “going vegan” elicited feelings of both despair and elation within the same person. For those who love animal product–free food, the news was met with a mix of excitement and dread. If the influencer’s recent output is any indication, she’s not the only one who’s trying to cut back on waste and cruelty. According to market research, the demand for vegan products is set to grow 29% year from 2020 to 2025.

While veganism has certainly been around long enough to know what it is, the idea of going completely meat-free is still somewhat foreign to many. For those who’ve tried it, though, the benefits are many. Not only is vegan food delicious and nutritious, but you also avoid causing suffering to animals. And perhaps most importantly, you cut out the risk of becoming sick.

This week, we take a look at the growing popularity of the vegan diet and whether or not it represents a major paradigm shift.

The Rise In Popularity

According to a 2019 Edelman Intelligence Report, one-quarter of the world’s population now identifies as vegetarian or vegan. The most popular trend within the community is whole food–based diets, such as Plant-based Diet or the vegan diet. The report projects that by 2025, the dietary trend will affect nearly every country in the world.

When it comes to cutting back on meat, fish, and dairy, the United Kingdom is eating out of the freezer. Between 2015 and 2019, the country’s frozen food sales increased by 10%, and it’s predicted that by 2025, people there will buy more food from their freezer than their refrigerator.

The United States, Germany, and Brazil are also experiencing similar trends. In fact, several studies suggest that millennials and Gen Z are driving this movement. According to the Global Food Summit, millennials are twice as likely as older generations to be vegetarian. And a whopping 75% of Gen Z consumers would consider themselves vegetarian or vegan.

If this seems like a trend that affects your industry, reach out to us for more information. We’re happy to help you navigate the changing landscape. In 2022, we’ll likely be seeing more and more restaurants and eateries embracing veganism.

Why 2020?

With the world focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19, it’s no surprise that people are looking for ways to improve their health. In response, wellness-focused restaurants have seen a huge increase in demand for plant-based meals. With the pandemic behind them, consumers have more time to focus on their health and are looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet.

According to the Global Food Summit, 80% of consumers globally are now trying to eat more vegetables and plant-based foods. But as exciting as this trend is, it comes with some serious caveats. One of the biggest challenges is that people aren’t used to eating this way. The majority of the population is still consuming animal products, and when they do eat plant-based foods, it’s often processed and packaged foods that contain a lot of extra additives.

In other words, going vegan isn’t as easy as it might seem. And since this is still a relatively new concept for so many, it can be difficult to identify exactly what kind of product combinations work well together. We don’t always have the most convenient places to buy healthy, organic food, especially if we live in a rural area. So for those struggling to make the switch, starting with what’s in your fridge and freezer might be the best place to begin. We’ve got some great tips on how to incorporate more vegetables and plant-based foods into your diet in the United Kingdom in our 2022 Healthy Eating Guide. Whether you’re just looking for a change or you’re looking to make a permanent lifestyle shift, starting small might be the key to success.

Is This a Trend That’s Here to Stay?

Going vegan is certainly a trend that will affect every country in the world. What’s important is that now that the shock of the pandemic has worn off, people are looking for ways to avoid it in the future. According to the Animal Acceptance Project, one of the best predictors of how long an attitude or behavior will be popular is how well it stands the test of time. In other words, trends come and go, but the lessons we learn from them usually end up being useful in the long run.

When it comes to eating well and avoiding sickness, many individuals and experts in the field would recommend a plant-based diet. And as we’ve seen with many other trends before it, as the benefits become more readily apparent, the trend will become more and more popular. There’s no reason to believe that going vegan won’t be one of them.